“Drinks on ice, in ice!”
The Aurora Ice Museum is an impressive display of ice carvings from world champion ice carvers Steve and Heather Brice. It was built in 2005 out of snow and ice harvested from the Chena Hot Springs Resort, where the display is located. It was once actually an ice hotel (fun fact, it was once closed by the Fire Marshall since the all-ice rooms didn't have smoke dectectors) but trouble keeping it frozen forced them to close the hotel and come up with a new and improved plan-- a museum of ice scultpures! As you tour the museum, you'll see life-sized jousters on horseback, a polar bear bedroom, a giant chess set, a Christmas tree bedroom, lighted chandeliers inspired by the Aurora Borealis, a two-story observation tower with spiral staircase and an outhouse, all carved of ice. They've even got a wedding venue for your winter wonderland-themed ceremony. Once you've completed the tour of the museum, you can then head to the bar to work on a nice booze blanket to warm you up. They've even got a signature cocktail: an appletini...served in a souvenir martini glass carved out of ice. Totally rad. Enjoy it while perched on a caribou-fur-covered stool or while defrosting near the ice fireplace (no, I have no idea how that works, but apparently it does!) But that's not even the craziest part about the Ice Museum-- because it's open all year round! It's in Alaska, which helps a little, but it's the one-of-a-kind patented absorption chiller (ironically powered by geothermal energy from hot springs) that keeps it from melting in the warmer summers, which can get as hot as 80 degrees and features daylight for 24 hours at times. For comparison, they try to keep it around 25 degrees inside so the ice won't melt. And don't worry-- they'll gladly lend you a parka to keep you warm while you tour the building... just in case you forgot yours. Chena Hot Springs Resort is home to the world’s largest year-round ice environment in the world, the Aurora Ice Museum! It was created from over 1,000 tons of ice and snow all harvested at the resort. The museum was completed in January 2005 and stays a cool 25° Fahrenheit (-7° Celsius) inside. Keeping the museum icy cold in the heat of summer comes from the patented absorption chiller, the first of its kind in the world used for this purpose! The Aurora Ice Museum gallery features amazing ice sculptures created by 15 time world champion ice carver Steve Brice, certified N.I.C.A (National Ice Carving Association) and his wife, Heather a 6 time world champion. Within the museum, they have created a two story observation tower with a circular staircase, life size jousters on horse back, a polar bear bedroom, a Christmas tree bedroom, a kid's snowball 2 story fort, an igloo and an ice outhouse among other pieces of ice art and additional chambers made exclusively with our Alaska Diamond or Alaska Marble ice. As you step inside the ice museum for the very first time, you are mesmerized by the ever-changing colored ice crystal chandeliers overhead depicting the Aurora Borealis. After touring the museum, relax at the Aurora Ice Bar. Enjoy sipping our specialty beverage an “appletini” in an ice carved martini glass (additional $15 in addition to $15 tour price) while awed by your surroundings. Sit comfortably on our caribou fur covered stools and take in the view or warm your hands by the ice fireplace. The Aurora Ice Museum at Chena Hot Springs Resort is truly one of a kind because it is open year-round! Come see it for yourself today!
It is a unique place to visit. Do get the cocktail and sit at the bar. No shirt, shoes not a good idea
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Aurora Ice Museum
- Sun - Sat: 7:00 am - 9:00 pm
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